Saturday, November 16, 2013

Big Bang - Alive EP

To say that the all-male Kpop group Bing Bang is huge would be an understatement. Big Bang has achieved a level of popularity that transcends the borders of their South Korean country, and indeed, has even broken through to American audiences. Upon review of their 2012 EP, Alive, I tried to discover what all the hype is about. What I came out with was a little less than I was hoping for.

The album kicks off with an energetic, dance pop opener, replete with jump style beats and some decent melodies. Not a bad first impression, except for one factor, one which reoccurs continuously on the album: the poor vocals. Throughout every track, the vocals sound either nasally, fake, or over-produced, making it difficult to listen to and enjoy. Tracks like "Bad Boy" and "Fantastic Baby" actually stick out more for how obnoxious the vocals are than for anything positive. 

However, like Iron Maiden's stint with ex-vocalist Blaze Bayley, the crummy vocals are not the only problem here. The songwriting overall lacks melodic development, focusing mainly on vocal melodies alone (which aren't exactly mind blowing anyways), and therefore, denying these songs decent layering and melodic production that would have greatly benefitted them. Songs like "Blue" plod along without really standing out, and the previously mentioned "Fantastic Baby" is pretty much a Korean LMFAO, with some of the most generic electronic production I've ever heard

Now, that's not to say there aren't positive moments on the release. There certainly are. The pumped-up energy of the intro track, the almost captivating chorus of "Love Dust," and the entirety of "Ain't no Fun," which shows a greater maturity and attention to songwriting, with more competent melodic sense, than any of the tracks on this album.

So, do I personally go along with the hype? Not really, but I do understand it. While the group lacks a lot in the talent and songwriting department, their sound is accessible. Any casual pop music fan can get into it, and they seem to be perfect for those who cling to obsessions with boy bands and pop stars in general. The group here shows a little promise, but as genuine pop musicians releasing genuine, serious albums, Big Bang, with this EP, did little to impress me.

-Andrew Oliver

No comments:

Post a Comment